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Fires That ‘Suddenly Erupted From The Ground’: A Disaster In Maine, Remembered

For some in New England, the deadly fires in California are a reminder of when fires overtook much of Maine around this time of year, 70 years ago. Wildfires in 1947 simultaneously burned over hundreds of miles for ten days, wiping out towns, and forever changing the landscape.

At the Brick Store Museum in the center of Kennebunk, Maine, a painting hangs inside the front hallway, showing a night sky in the distance, filled with fire.

Steve Spofford, the town historian, said it shows an accurate depiction of the 1947 fires that swept around the state.

“That is correct about how the sky looked,” he said. “You could hear the roar of the fire. She depicts it well, here.”

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